Obviously, the number one factor in choosing a dog run is how far is it from your home. For the sake of reference, however, we’re going to attempt to compile info on as many NYC dog runs as humanly possible, because you never know when you’re going to move, a jerk is going to move onto your regular run turf, or your dog may wish to move his bowels somewhere else.
Hudson River Dog Park (near 44th Street on the West Side Highway at Pier 84)
Basic Stats: This little paved dog park is a dream location if you live in the area, which the parks department refers to as “the maritime entertainment district.” The run is small and bagless, but there’s shade, water, pavement, and views to die for.
Placement in the Park: Unfortunately, despite sounding like where area where pirates unwind, it’s actually the hub of Hudson River activity— the Circle Line hub is right there, as is the Intrepid, and various other tour boats (The Beast!), bike rental places, and heliports. This makes for a bit of a mob scene in the warmer weather, but unlike other riverside parks, there are plenty of useful resources around, like food, toilets, and transportation. You can take the bus across 42nd Street, but that’s pretty much it for the mass transportation option (unless you’re coming in over the water). On a warm sunny day, however, the riverside location is a real treat.
Vibe Inside: Mellow. I went on a sunny weekday afternoon, which is usually when dogwalkers fill the runs, but it was still pretty quiet. Because the park is in a tourist hub, there are lots of spectators, but they weren’t too loud or intrusive. Owners were friendly, as were the dogs.
Cons: Not very easy to get to outside of the neighborhood. Not a ton of shade, no bags or scoopers, no separate runs for bigger and smaller dogs.
Pros: Beautiful views, newer facilities, which, as I’ve mentioned before, are maintained by the Hudson River Trust, not the Parks Dept, which makes for better maintenance. It’s also in close proximity to a flower garden, taxis, food, the works. And oh yeah, pavement! Sweet sweet pavement! No dust.
Food?: There are vendors and vending machines all along this stretch of the park, but there’s also PD O’Hurley’s, a restaurant in the Chili’s/TGIFriday’s vein, right next door, which has both outdoor tables and a walk-up window (and booze). There are also a handful of outdoor cafes on the outerside of the river that may or may not be entertaining pirates (they’re not).